DLD Rocks San Diego

On Monday, May 29, I had the opportunity to cover the concert of a band that exemplifies perseverance, determination and of course, passion. Few Mexican bands get to go on tour in the United States, but DLD is one of them. During an intimate interview on their tour bus, the members of the band, Francisco, Erik, Edgar, Keno and Sergio, agreed on one thing: the essence of DLD goes beyond what words can define.

DLD was formed in the late ’90s in The State of Mexico with the name Dildo. After they gained popularity, especially in the US, they had to come up with a more appropriate, kid-friendly name for the band. However, they did not want to radically change the band’s identity; so they abbreviated their former name to DLD. Despite this change, the band still considers Dildo to be their authentic name.

Some people may argue that DLD is a purely alternative rock band, while others may say that they play pop rock. These assumptions are neither right nor wrong. The truth is, according to the band, DLD enjoys playing a little bit of everything, which  is what makes them so unique and powerful as a group. As a result, DLD has attracted a heterogeneous audience that ranges from young teenagers to grown adults – all of whom sing along, together, at the band’s shows. The amazing audience in San Diego was no exception.

This was not the first time that DLD performed in San Diego. However, this occasion was particularly special since they are promoting their sixth album “Futura.” “Futura” is an album significantly different from their previous records. It was recorded in Cancun, Mexico, a heavenly place where the band felt like they were more connected to nature. This allowed the group to create more fresh and breathtaking songs. When I asked the group which track was their favorite, they could not agree on one particular song, because the album has so much variety.

The DLD US Tour started in El Paso, where they performed at the Neon Desert Music Festival. San Diego was their second destination. They also performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

People started to get in line outside The Casbah around 7 p.m., even though the concert began at 10:30 p.m. DLD opened with “A Distancia,” a song from their album “Primario,” released in 2012. Before they started playing, Francisco (the lead singer of the band) said to his fans, “We’re gonna f*ing rock The Casbah… I’ve always wanted to say this.” After these words, an amazing night, full of contagious energy, began.

As the night went on, the audience got fired up listening to their favorite songs from the album “Futura,” which included “Estaré,” “Sigo Siendo Yo” and “Las Cruzadas.” However, the mood changed suddenly as soon as the band started performing “Reencuentro,” a song dedicated to a former band member who passed away. The narrative of this song and the emotion with which DLD played it touched the hearts of the whole crowd at The Casbah, who sang along.

The band left their most famous hits, such as “Mi Vida” and “Todo Cuenta,” for the second half of the concert. The last song they played was “Por Siempre,” magically closing the concert in a way that left the audience craving more.

The concert that DLD gave to their public was more than just a night of rock.  It was a night where people could escape from reality and let the music flow into their veins and their hearts.

It is hard for me to recount the numerous times that DLD thanked their public for their unconditional support. This proves that DLD is not only talented, but also humble and grateful. The band made it clear that without the support of their fans, the Futura US Tour 2017 would’ve been impossible.

DLD is now crossing borders, and there’s no stopping them.

Check out DLD more here, on their website.

Behind the Mic: Matt Hoffman & Anthony Reclusado

Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado pose in the Student Union at SDSU.

When people hear “the face of KCR,” they might think of KCR’s logo or the events KCR takes part in or puts on. But, members of KCR, some who have been around for years, probably think of General Manager Matt Hoffman and Programming Director Anthony Reclusado as the face of the organization. Members of KCR for nearly four years now, the roommates have held their management positions for half of that time and have greatly contributed to the radio station. I caught up with Matt and Anthony before their graduation for the last Behind the Mic of the spring semester. 

The pair made their debut on KCR in spring 2014 with “Delay of Game,” a show they have had on-air up to their final days as seniors. Anthony told me that during the fall semester of 2013, they contributed to “Aztec Circle,” a group sports show on KCR, because the two joined halfway through the semester and weren’t given their own time on-air.

Since beginning “Delay of Game,” Anthony explained that they have localized their sports coverage to San Diego. Listeners would have heard nearly an hour of Padres, Chargers, Gulls and Aztecs coverage every week. Matt described a headline segment, “Quick Shots,” that concluded each show. During this short period, Matt and Anthony would bring up national sports headlines and break them down, giving their opinions.

Prior to the move, each show began with the Chargers, with Aztec Football quickly following. Game recaps, injury reports and other player news all made up the usual discussions.

“We shoot for quality and consistency — that’s why the show is still here seven semesters later,” Matt explained. Anthony added that dedication made their show stand out, with Matt giving an example of a basketball ticket giveaway they conducted on-air a few years ago, requiring the two to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line for the tickets.

Matt and Anthony holding awards in the KCR studio.

KCR has won an array of awards while Matt and Anthony have served on management. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Matt has served as General Manager of KCR for two years, and prior to that (as a sophomore) he was Program Director. According to Matt, he spent the summer between management positions renovating the KCR studio. He collaborated with iHeartMedia to construct the current studio, which has professional equipment and safer furniture. “It all helps with the professionalism,” Anthony added.

The following summer, Matt worked to open a second studio: the production studio in the basement of EBA.

The culture of KCR has totally changed since their freshman year, according to both Anthony and Matt. “As soon as that studio changed, everything else changed,” added Anthony.

“It’s a lot bigger than it probably has ever been,” said Matt, referencing the sheer size of KCR’s current membership.

Matt described how amazing it is to see members of KCR, past and present, earn internships and obtain positions in the media industry, noting that KCR was the starting point for many. Getting people interested in radio has been one of Matt’s responsibilities. He mentioned current Production Director at KCR, Jack Sellas, as an example. Jack became an active member, obtained a management position and is now looking at radio as a potential career.

“KCR will always be a part of my life,” said Anthony.

Matt currently works as a news assistant at KPBS, where he also covers on-air stories. Additionally, Matt is a writer and producer for the morning shows at NBC 7 San Diego. After his upcoming graduation in May, Matt plans on working full-time at NBC.

Anthony has worked with Matt as Program Director for two years. During his senior year, Anthony served as Sports Editor for The Daily Aztec. He currently interns at FOX 5 San Diego, and will move back to the Bay Area after graduation to continue his media career. 

Featured Image: Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado are preparing for their graduation in May and departure from KCR. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Sundays Are for Coffee Shops

Sundays are either for relaxing or catching up on all the homework you put off until the last minute. Usually going with the latter, I’ve picked up a Sunday routine that has made my pile of work look less daunting – studying at coffee shops. In a perfect world, I’d wake up at the crack of dawn, eat a healthy breakfast, hit the gym and tackle my assignments by the afternoon. But, in reality, I wake up in the afternoon. I’ve come to realize that just because I get a late start (usually a really late start) to my day, doesn’t mean that I have to waste the rest of it! I’ve always loved studying in coffee shops, so I was lucky enough to find the perfect one only a few weeks into my first semester of college. As second semester is slowly getting the best of me, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time at:

Communal Coffee 

2335 University Ave

San Diego, CA 92104

I always like to start my Sundays at Communal Coffee. I’m not a big coffee fanatic, but I love this coffee shop for their music, vibes and extremely nice customer service. They have amazing avocado toast and caprese toast, which becomes even better when you add egg and proscuitto. Their savory croissants with turkey and jalapeno cream cheese are definitely worth the try, too. For you non-coffee drinkers, like me, they have a cool selection of iced teas and pressed juices. If you’ve never tried lavender syrup, I completely recommend adding it to your drink – it’s delicious! Try their toast flight, which has avocado and egg, caprese and lavender honey. 

I also like studying at Communal Coffee because of their layout. The coffee shop has a backroom full of tables, bar-style seating and a bench tabletop by the window. Whenever it gets too busy inside, you can take your drink and homework outside to their outdoor tables. I love how the minimalistic decorations and bright, natural lighting makes the coffee shop look open; it creates a positive, happy atmosphere. Communal Coffee has become my favorite place to study because I always manage to get into work mode right away!

Not only are they a coffee shop, but they’re also an in-store floral boutique. Besides flowers, you can pick up candles, cards and knick-knacks. They also share their outdoor area with North Park Nursery, which sells mini succulents for roughly $3!

Featured Image by Sabrina Kim.

A-Plus: The Spring Cleaning Tour Show Review

 

 

The show itself was an experience like no other. A-Plus lyrical fluidity and classic, boom bap, hip hop beats transported me from a modern so-cal setting, to the golden age of Bay Area hip hop. Sounds dope, but who is A-Plus, you ask?

A-Plus began rapping at the age of 8 in Oakland, California. He continued honing his skills throughout his teen years, and when he reached high school he helped form the underground hip hop collective formally known as Souls of Mischief. This monumental hip hop group, consisting of A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai, made their first mark on the game in 1993 with the release of their album, “93’ till infinity.” This album was dropped under the Jive record label, but once the group deviated from the major label route, they became part of an umbrella collective known as Hieroglyphics. The collective was founded in the early ‘90s by a man known as Del the Funky Homosapien. The Hieroglyphics movement sent shockwaves throughout the Bay Area that are still felt today. Their iconic three eyed logo can be found scattered throughout various hip hop scenes, and they paved the way for a new generation of artists.

A-Plus’ success in the hip hop group circuit did not deter his ambition for solo ventures. Since the release of his last group project, A-Plus has released three solo albums. The latest was released in 2014 and is titled “Molly’s Dirty Water.”

I had the opportunity to meet up with A-Plus before the show and talk some hip hop. I first asked him about the origin of his passion for music. He went on to name the hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Run DMC as two groups who heavily influenced his love for hip hop. That love and passion for the genre is what A-Plus credits for his longevity in the music scene. This mindset empowered A-Plus and other like-minded individuals within his collectives to push the boundaries of underground hip hop and force the world to take notice. The Hieroglyphics movement was a vital catalyst which helped push the culture forward into where we are today. And, A-Plus respects the direction current music has gone and is grateful for having played a role in that direction. A few notable contemporary rappers who he enjoys are Joey Badass, Anderson Paak and Kendrick Lamar. In regards to where A-Plus himself is today, he is still going around the country doing what he loves: making music and putting on shows. The tour he is currently on is called the Spring Cleaning Tour and features other notable artists, such as Knobody and J. Lately, all supported by the spinning skills of DJ Nocturnal.

The Show

A-Plus and company’s second stop on their Spring Cleaning tour brought them to one of downtown San Diego’s premier live music bars, the Kava Lounge. The Kava Lounge is a small venue that hosts some big entertainment. As I was walking up to the venue, I was awestruck at the sight of a Boeing 747 descending over the beautifully lit San Diego skyline, and unlike the plane, my night only went up from there.

The show itself was an experience like no other. A-Plus’ lyrical fluidity and classic, boom bap, hip hop beats transported me from a modern SoCal setting, to the golden age of Bay Area hip hop. My head instinctively rocked to almost every song as the truly experienced MC showcased his ability to handle a mic and ride a beat. He played songs spanning all the way from the early ‘90s to his upcoming album collaboration featuring Knobody, titled “Grow Theory.” Knobody joined the rapper on stage. The duo’s back-and-forth style was truly captivating and reinforced the old school hip hop vibe. The Souls of Mischief rapper seemed at home on stage, and rightfully so, given that he has been doing this for decades. To conclude the show, he performed one of his group’s most beloved hits, “93 ‘till Infinity.” This was the moment I had been waiting for. This song features one of the most legendary hip hop beats on record. It was truly an honor to witness a living legend masterfully weave his words within rhyme and rhythm over such a historic instrumental. Given the small nature of the venue, at times it felt like the rapper was speaking directly to me, and that made for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. A-Plus performed for the intimate crowd with just as much passion as he would a crowd 10 times its size; even though the quantity of space was limited, the quality of the performance did not suffer.

Overall, I went to go see an A-Plus show, and that is exactly what I got: an A+ show. Twenty-four years ago, A-Plus said, “you will see, from now ’til infinity.” And, he seems to be keeping his word.